There’s the to-be-expected outrage over the changes Twitter is making to APIs and it’s got some people panicking that there may be a lot more adverts in the future, which brings back to mind something that amazes me – is Twitter the only company that doesn’t see easy ways for it to make money?
At the moment, Twitter dictates who gets verified status and that can cause problems for people who are either niche celebrities or small-time (by Twitter’s status) so charge a decent fee – not enough to deter people but enough to scare off impersonators – to have a verified account. You’d find lots of people getting this to prove to the world who they are – anyone using Twitter for business would snap it up so people knew tweets were coming from a genuine source.
Just now, getting an account name from an account that hasn’t been used for any length of time is nigh-on impossible. You send an email to Twitter and then wait. And wait. And wait. Submitting a help ticket is no better. The irony isn’t lost on me that for a company so many use for customer service, they are terrible at it themselves. So instead, tell people that if they see an account name they want – and the account hasn’t been used for more than 6-12 months, then they can have it for $25.
Before anyone moans, bear in mind that you don’t get to keep URLs forever, so paying for a Twitter name isn’t an outrageous thing to suggest.
In a similar vein to the above, set up a storefront where people can say “I have this name” and people can come in and bid on it with Twitter taking a percentage of the fee – 30% seems to be the going rate in digital terms.
This might not be possible, but if so, worth exploring. Some companies have names longer than the traditional Twitter limit so why not offer them their proper name – but at a cost? Again, charge something decent but professional – say $100.
At the moment this is free (and how people would love to be able to do it on Facebook) but why not make it an option on Twitter?
Perhaps more controversially…
This is more just thinking out loud as I think the free service is probably part of what has made it so popular but you want to cut down on the spam accounts? Charge every person who uses it. Or perhaps allow so many tweets per person for free (20 a day?) and then charge after that.
Or just charge an absurdly low amount – $1 a year. Even if you have 1million users, that’s $1million coming into you.
So are there any technical reasons the above can’t be done? I’d love to hear if there is…
Who would be a teacher? I mean, really. They have a tough time of it. Parents expect them to be day babysitters without letting them do it right, if a pupil fails it’s not the pupil’s fault, it’s the teacher – it’s a no-win job. You give too much attention to someone, you get labelled. Give too little, you get labelled. All the power is in the hands of the child and not the adult – something many a child exploits.
In days gone by, you would have pupils trawl through the phonebook to get your details and phone you up, annoying you – now they do it on social media instead, forcing teachers to use locked accounts or not be on platforms for fear of what is said if they engage with pupils.
And now, along comes this idea that teachers should provide out of hours support via social media to pupils – and the NASUWT union, along with Dumfries and Galloway Council want to stop this from happening.
Which is wrong, because you know what? It’s a bloody brilliant idea. For everyone concerned – teachers, pupils, the country.
Interesting read in The Herald today with a column by Mhairi Clarke about her designer clothing business The Clothes Tree. It talks about how she’s had to learn things about digital engagement to boost her business online. There’s some good observations in it, so go have a read, but here’s some more tips for those like Mhairi trying to wade through the social media waters…
I’ve moaned often enough that the Scottish press doesn’t seem to do enough to try and grasp digital opportunities so it would be churlish not to mention the new Scotsman iPad app that’s been released today. But does it beat buying the paper or getting it via the likes of PressReader (where you can get all the papers you want – from across the globe for £19 a month)? Let’s have a look…
It’s The Scotsman newspaper in an iPad friendly format (the old iPhone app wasn’t that great as I said in this Scotsman iPhone app review). You get a bunch of stories from the paper/website and the digital edition claims it will update during the day. You also get the option to view the traditional paper format. It’s £7.99 a month – which is a good deal – and the first month is free. You may even get the Evening News for free (more of that in a minute).
Hell yes. More and more news is being consumed this way – on tablets and phones, so it most certainly is. This is the future. And even though The Scotsman isn’t what it was – it went through a period of being hellbent on losing the traditional audience – and the website it (slowly) rebuilding its way to former glories that Stewart Kirkpatrick made of it – this is a good thing. It’s still an influential paper, especially on the East Coast.
Umm… let’s split this up…
The fact The Scotsman has done this is good. We need more Scottish press embracing possibilities.
What’s utterly brilliant is the setting for ‘Read the paper from the back’ (it’s buried in the settings options) – that’s great for those who start with the sports section and whoever came up with it should get a gold star. Great consideration of audience.
It’s very stable and quite quick. There’s some nice options with each story to share via email, Facebook or Twitter and it takes your settings from what is already on your machine – no need to input your details again. There’s also a nice ‘related stories’ link at the end of each.
It’s genuinely free for a month. It doesn’t ask for your card or PayPal details up front, hoping you’ll forget to cancel (like so many sites do)
You can get Jobs, Announcements and so on – it takes you to The Scotsman site so this is always the fresh material that it should be.
You can archive stories and editions.
(in no particular order)
The video could do with better mics. Quite a bit of background hiss.
There’s no back button on any of the pages so you always have to click the Home button to leave a section.
The first few attempts at downloading the edition of the day are horrifically slow – three minutes on a 50MB wifi connection (for comparison, PressReader pulled today’s edition down in 26 seconds – the whole thing) – and I can’t tell if the Scotsman pulls down the whole edition or streams pages at a time as there’s a 2-3 second lag when you flick through pages.
The stories at the top – seven stories in the ‘cycle’ but only two are from today. Five are from yesterday.
While there’s options to share, it doesn’t tell me if any my friends have read/liked/tweeted the stories. Similarly, there’s no ‘what are my friends reading’ option which could have boosted engagement.
When you go to Jobs, Announcements and so on, the UI changes and you are suddenly in the territory of The Scotsman website. This is bad. The UI experience should be consistent so that if someone is accessing these pages from the app that they still have all the options at the bottom (in fairness, they do have it at the top but it’s just a button saying ‘done’ which takes you back to the app.)
WTF is the ‘Remember the Children’ thing all about? Make a virtual star in the night sky to remember a baby or child no longer with us? I mean really, what the fuck? Crass, insensitive. Just what was the thinking behind this one? Cheap and manipulative in my opinion – and seems to be something a bunch of papers are doing. Nice idea but to me, just… no. And yes, I think the same about the poppy field for soldiers and the daffodils for cancer victims. At least those are a bit more relevant than stars in the night sky.
What times of the day does this update? Will it inform me by email? How will I know? Do I need to just click and hope?
What about the Evening News stream at the bottom – is that the full paper? Just the highlights? Will the Evening News be getting an app? What about the Scotland on Sunday? A standalone app or will it appear on Sunday in this one?
Why isn’t there a one-touch button for sending comments (to appear on the website) or Letters to the Editor? Is there an option to read web comments?
What time does it update in the morning? Does it come out the same time as the streets edition or is it 9am?
Over time, will it remember what I have read or shared and put those sort of stories first?
This is a very decent app and deserves to make The Scotsman money. It’s probably the best Scottish newspaper app out there at the moment and hopefully sparks others into getting out there. £7.99 for a monthly subscription isn’t bad – if it includes the Evening News and S0S then it’s even better.
Will I be buying it? Probably not. I may subscribe for a month just to give it some cash, but that’s it (unless you get the full Evening News/SoS). Why? I use PressReader on my iPad and here’s why I’ll be sticking with that…
£19 a month gets me all-I-can-eat press from more than 2000 newspapers from more than 100 countries. Every day I turn on the app and I get downloaded at 7am the print editions of The Scotsman, The Courier, The Press & Journal, The Herald, The Guardian, and The Indepdendent. Every evening I get The Evening Times, Evening Telegraph and the Evening Express. Now on top of that, for no extra cost I can get the Daily Mail, Daily Express (English editions), access to the likes of The Engineer, Marketing Week, Sunday Herald and many other weekly publications. I can also get plenty of other regional UK titles if I’m doing a PR search for local press – or foreign press.
Basically, it’s a steal and even at £7.99 The Scotsman app can’t compete with it. I can forego the likes of the odd video interview and save my £7.99 – but in fairness that may change. If there’s enough new fresh content that is non-paper and appeals to me, I’ll be there, waving my credit card.
And what they put up today is an optimistic start.
Been a bit of buzz – mostly people calling me a Scottish humbug (my daughter read the blog and said “you will now be known as Papa Scrooge”) over my post on Why Social Media Staff Should be Working Christmas Day – so to help people out so that they can spend more time with their toys or loved ones (or both), here’s 18 tips to minimise having to be online during Christmas Day:
Social media, we are told, is 24/7 – and surely that extends to 365 days of the year. After all, it’s not Christmas for everyone and in a global setting Christmas (for those who celebrate it) comes at different hours .
There’s two main reasons for why any consumer label or brand worth its salt will have people monitoring social media channels though: happy customers and new customers.
Scotland sees new alcohol sales rules coming into place this weekend with the aim or curbing cheap multi-buy discounts being one of the primary goals.
But, as The Drum and The Law Society of Scotland point out, there are always unintneded consquences. In this case, it’s to do with the part of the law that states you cannot advertise alcohol within 200m of the actual alcohol.
That’s going to hit social media, especially the use of mobile…
There’s been a few instances recently (including one where I was giving a quick Twitter masterclass to some police at 2am but that’s a story for another day) where it’s been clear that for many in the Scottish emergency services – regardless of it being the police, ambulance service, coastguard or fire and rescue services – social media is still something that’s viewed with a range of emotions from suspicion to hostility or ignorance. Recent events down south have done nothing to help get rid of that viewpoint either.
Now I believe social media could be a fantastic tool for the 999 services – from building grassroots community relations to helping prevent crime and get results on crime – and I’d like to do my bit to help.
I’m willing to offer free one-day training course/presentation on social media which will be backed up by the courses being made available as podcasts – video and audio – for others in the forces to view/listen to at their leisure.
The courses will cover:
As stated above, there’s no charge for the course (though travelling expenses may be incurred depending on location). If anyone is interested all they have do is get in touch via the email address or phone number at the top right of the page.
The UK press today is blaming social media for helping spread information and details about the riots in Tottenham and elsewhere and two platforms in particular are getting the coverage/blame – Twitter and BlackBerry Messenger.
Twitter’s getting attacked for the real-time nature of updates while BlackBerry Messenger is being attacked for being a private communications network (that’s free, hence the popularity).
And while some are asking if this is another kick in the downward spiralling BlackBerry, could it actually be the opposite and be seen as a defining moment in securing the teen marketplace ahead of iPhones and Android devices?
Those fine people at the Social Media Academy/Social Media Library have put on a one day event about Twitter called Twitter in Scotland and, as you would expect, it has a hashtag – #twitterscot – but there’s a fair few people chatting about it online. I’ll list their details below but if anyone has been missed out, feel free to add your name in the comments sections…